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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Unconditional love, but what does it mean?

Carol McKibben

How Do I Begin to Write a Book?
One might consider me strange, but my ideas come to me in dreams or in messages from other people. The premise for Luke’s Tale came to me in a dream about a year after I wrote my first book. Around that time, I went for a psychic reading for my birthday. I told the psychic nothing about myself…yet; she told me that the angels around me, my guardians, were urging me to write a book about unconditional love. This freaked me out! Then, afterward, I had the original dream again. So, I really had no choice in the matter.

On top of everything, my yellow lab Luke is/was my hero. He was a therapy dog and so dedicated to me. When he was six, he was diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) for which there is no cure. Complete blindness was the result. Even after that, he continued to bravely go everywhere with me, gently feeling his way with his paws and sticking to me like Velcro. He continued his therapy dogging long after he went blind and brought joy to hundreds of hospital and nursing home patients. He was my inspiration. I made him the narrator of Luke’s Tale, because the book’s message is unconditional love. What other creature except a dog exemplifies unconditional love?

The book I am currently writing, entitled Snow Blood, came to me as the result of a dog named Snow that I had fostered and placed in his forever home, along with a conversation I had with my daughter about vampires. We both love vampire stories…and contrived this one together.

How Do my Ideas for Materials Develop?
This will make readers laugh, but it’s true. William Faulkner said it best: “It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.” For me, that’s the way it works. Once I know my characters, they come alive and are a life of their own. They move through the story and fall out of my mind onto the page.

How long does it take to write a book?
Riding Through It, my first book, took several years. My second book, Luke’s Tale, took just a little over a year. I think I should be able to finish Snow Blood, within six months. I am making progress!

Where do you find the time to write?
I am a working writer. By that, I mean I have other authors with whom I work to develop their stories as well as corporate clients for whom I write everything under the sun. So, writing for myself occurs after work and on weekends.

Do you have a desk? An Office?
I definitely have a desk and a formal office. But, the office is littered with the sleeping bodies of my two dogs, so it’s not normal by any means! All one can hear is their soft snoring and the clacking of my fingers on my computer. Wait! Does that mean I’ve bored them to death? Let’s hope not!

Here’s a final thought. We all have great stories within us, but some of us have no other choice but to write them. It’s part of breathing for us. The things that we experience, feel and think compel us to write. For me, there’s no other way.

Carol McKibben, the author of Luke’s Tale, – A Story of Unconditional Love, currently writes from the heart of a dog’s eyes. Often telling her stories to Labradoodles, Basset Hounds and any stray that happens by, it wasn’t long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included. Carol was a magazine publisher for more than 20 years. She began a new career in freelance writing and editing in 2007, as well as working with other authors to realize their dreams. She also has published a Memoir, Riding Through It. Both books are available on Amazon.com. She currently is writing another book from the point-of-view of yet another dog! It’s an episodic series called Snow Blood, filled with vampires, demons, magic and mystery! 

Win a print or e-book copy of Luke’s Tale: A Story of Unconditional Love by replying to this post and writing about unconditional love and what it means to you. 

Please be sure to include an email address where we can reach you for an address and we will pick one lucky winner at random!      



  1. To me, unconditional love means that no matter what someone has done, the choices they've made, or the decisions they continue to make, I will love them for who they are no matter how much I may disagree with those choices.

  2. Ahhh, I think you've described a parent's love for their child. I agree completely. Unconditional love is loving no matter what.

  3. Jacob, great comment. Thank you!

    Louise, yes, it is. . . but how would you apply it to a friend, a husband or wife? Can it be done?

    Thanks for commenting!
    Carol McKibben

  4. Thank you for hosting today :-)

    Great comment!!!!

  5. Very nice post:) I like the quote by Faulkner(which is new to me) and I agree, it is the character that will tell his/her own story:) The story sounds beautiful and I wish you the best on your release! Pit Crew

  6. Not strange at all. Many of my ideas come from dreams, too.

  7. Michelle, thank you! Glad you like the quote.Hope you get a chance to read Luke's Tale!

    Rebecca, Wow, that's great! I'm not strange, or, at least, I have company being strange!

    All the Best,
    Carol McKibben

  8. Thanks to Wise Words - Book Blogger for hosting me!

    Carol McKibben

  9. You're welcome Carol. But how to apply it to a husband, wife or a friend? Hmmm... if I'm honest I don't think I love my husband unconditionally and that's not being awful but sensible. If he cheated on me he'd be gone, no questions, just gone.

    No partner should love the other to the point of self-sacrifice.